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Highlanders hold off gutsy Hurricanes

Rugby

The Otago Highlanders scored two tries in 15 minutes after halftime and held off a charging Wellington Hurricanes at the death to claim a 35-31 Super Rugby victory in Dunedin on Friday.

The first half of the match between two New Zealand teams looking for their second wins of the season was a penalty kicking contest which Highlanders flyhalf Lima Sopoaga won 6-3 over Beauden Barrett to give his side an 18-9 lead at the interval.

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DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 21: Lima Sopoaga of the Highlanders on the attack during the round six Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium on March 21, 2014 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Rob Jefferies/Getty Images)

Highlanders centre Phil Burleigh crossed nine minutes after the break and when a converted intercept try for winger Patrick Osbourne extended the home team's lead to 35-12 six minutes later, the match looked as good as over.

Barrett had other ideas, though, and after prop Ben Franks had ploughed over for the Hurricanes' first try, the free-scoring fullback scored a brace of touchdowns in the last seven minutes to set up a dramatic finale. – Reuters

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